A. Ralph Johnson

THEME:  How the church began and grew. 

Written by Luke, a physician, after Paul went to Rome, before 64 A.D.

The focus is primarily on the works of Peter and Paul.

Importance: 1. Ties the New Testament togetheer.  2. Closes before Paul's trial, placing a date stamp on it and the Gospels.




28ch(8) Map (brief)

1: Ascension



INTRODUCTION: Addressed by Luke to Theophilus, a Greek.  (1:1-5)

     Reference to Luke’s former letter of Christ's life. (1:1-2)


        Acts 1:8    8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.


 “TO THE JEW FIRST“ (Rom 1:16 ; 2:9-10)


I.         JERUSALEM (cf.Acts 1:8 ; cf. Luke 24:47)

A.     Resurrection to Pentecost (Acts 1: 1-26)

1.       First 40 days to the ascension 

a.       Activity of Jesus after the resurrection. (1:3)

b.       Speaking with disciples on the Mount of Olives (1:4)

c.       Remain in Jerusalem until Holy Spirit comes (1:4-5; cf. Luke 24:49)

d.       Question: time of Kingdom coming (1:4 -7)

e.       Commission: Receive power and be witnesses.  (1:8)

f.        Ascension

1)       Ascends into a cloud as they watch (1:9)

2)       Two in white apparel speak to them. (1:10-11)

g.       Return to Jerusalem (1:12)

1)       The upper room (1:13)

2)       Apostles and others staying in the upper room. (1:13-14)

2.        Ten days between ascension and Pentecost.

a.       Peter's counsel concerning replacing Judas (1:15-22)

b.       Selecting Matthias as replacement (1:23-26)


2: Pentecost

B.       Pentecost to Stoning of Stephen (Acts 2--7)

1.        Pentecost (Acts 2)

a.     Holy Spirit poured out on apostles. (2:1-3)

b.     They speak to people in every language. (2:4)

c.     Listeners are amazed that Galilaeans do this.(2:5-13)

d.     Peter's address. (2:14-36)

e.     People respond: “What shall we do?” (2:37)

f.      Peter's call to repent and be baptized for remission of sins (2:38-40)

g.     3000 baptized (2:41)

2.        Following Pentecost

a.        They continue steadfastly in the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers, (2:42)

b.       Miracles were done by the Apostles. (2:43)

c.        They shared their posessions as any had need  (2:44-45)

d.       They continued daily in the temple and from house to house praising God (2:46-47)

3: Temple


3.        Preaching In the temple

a.        First temple confrontation by Peter and John

1)       Lame man healed at Beautiful Gate (3:1-11)

2)       Peter Preaches on Solomon's Porch. (3:12 -26)

4: Boldness


3)       Peter and John Imprisoned overnight (4:1-4)

4)       Peter's sermon to the Jewish Council (8)

5)       Warned by the Jewish Council not to preach (4:18-22)

6)       Prayer meeting for boldness to speak (4:23-30)

7)       The house shaken.(4:31)

8)       All filled with the Holy Spirit (4:31)

9)       Multitude one heart and one soul (4:32)

10)    Apostles gave witness with great power (4:33)

11)    Response of the people.

a)       They shared as any had need. (4:34-35)

b)       Barnabas sold a field and gave the money (4:36)

5: Lying



c)       Ananias & Sapphira lied and died. (5:1-11)

b.       Second temple confrontation

1)       Healing on Solomon's porch. (5:12-16)

2)       Apostles jailed. Freed by angel. (5:17-20)

3)       Return to the temple. (5:21-25)

4)       Before the Jewish Council. (5:26-41)

a)       Brought before the Council. (5:26-28)

b)       Apostles' response—“We must obey God” (5:29-32)

c)       Gamaliel's advice. (5:33-39)

d)       Beaten and freed. (5:40-41)

e)       Return to the temple. (5:42)

6: Seven



4.        Seven chosen to care for the Grecian widows.

 (Stephen and Philip included)

a.        Apostles established guidelines (6:1-4)

b.       Chosen by the people. (6:5)

c.        Appointed by the apostles. (6:6)

d.       Church grows.  Many priests converted. (6:7)

5.        Stephen martyred—cause of Christians scattering. 

a.        Dispute with Grecian Jews. (6:8-10)

b.       Dragged before the Jewish Council. (6:11-15)

7: Stephen


c.        Defense before the Council. (7:1-53)

d.       Stoned while Saul watches. (7:58-60)



8: Philip


II.       JUDEA AND SAMARIA: The church scatters and grows. (Acts 8-9)

  1. Saul scatters the church (8:1-4)

1.        Philip goes to Samaria (8:5)

a.        Philip does miracles (8:6-11)

b.       Many believe and are baptized. (8:12-13)

c.        Peter & John sent from Jerusalem. (8:14)

d.       Holy Spirit falls upon them when the apostles lay on hands. (8:15-17)

e.        Simon the sorcerer tries to buy the power. (8:18-19)

f.         Simon rebuked (8:20-24)

2.        Apostles return to Jerusalem preaching (8:25)

3.        Angel sends Philip to Ethiopian Eunuch, treasurer of Queen Candace

        on road to Gaza (8:26-29) –Ancient Philistine area—modern Gaza Strip

a.        Philip teaches him from Isaiah (8:30-35)

b.       Eunuch is baptized (8:36-38)

c.        Philip caught away to Azotus and goes to Caesarea. (city) (8:40)

9: Saul


  1. Saul converted

1.       Saul authorized to persecute Christians. (9:1-2)

2.       Road to Damascus, Jesus appears. Saul calls him “Lord” (9:3-6)

3.       At Damascus he prays for three days. No eat or drink.  (9:8-9)

4.       Ananias heals and baptizes Saul. (9:10-18)

5.       Saul preaches in the synagogues (9:20-22)

6.       Saul goes to Arabia and returnes to Damascus (Gal. 1:17)   

7.       Saul escapes plot against his life. (9:23)

8.       He is let down over the wall in basket. (9:24-25)

9.       Jerusalem: Barnabas takes Paul to see Peter and James. (9:26-29) 

10.    Paul sent to his home city of Tarsus. (9:30)

11.    Peace in Judea, Galilee and Samaria (9:31)

  1. Peter heals Aeneas at Lydda: More disciples. (9:32-35)
  2. Joppa:

2.        Peter raises Tabitha (Dorcas). (9:36-42)

3.        Peter remains with Simon the tanner many days (9:43)






10: Cornelius



“...AND ALSO TO THE GREEK” (Rom 1:16)


III.     TO THE GENTILES (Acts 10)

A.   Caesarea: (city)

1.        Angel has Cornelius the Centurion send to Joppa for Peter. (10:1-8)

2.        Peter's three visions of “unclean” animals to eat. (10:9-23)

3.        Peter at Caesarea: (Speaking to the Centurion’s family and friends)

a.        Recounting events to the occasion (10:24-42)

b.       Through Jesus' name all who believe receive remission of sins. (10:43)

c.        While speaking the Holy Spirit falls upon them. (10:44-46)

d.       They are baptized in the name of Jesus. (10:47-48)

11: Why?



B.      Jerusalem:

Peter explains why the Gentiles were accepted. (11:1-18)

C.      Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch

1.        At first, preaching only to Jews. (11:19)

2.        Men of Cyprus and Cyrene speak to Greeks. (11:20-21)

3.        Barnabas sent from Jerusalem to Antioch, Syria. (11:22-24)

4.        He brings Saul from Tarsus to Antioch. (11:25-26)

a.        For a year they teach much people there.

b.       Disciples first called Christians at Antioch.

5.        Prophets from Jerusalem to Antioch. (11:27)

a.        Agabus prophesies of a famine over the world. (11:28)

b.       Help sent to Jerusalem by Barnabas and Saul. (11:29)

12: Herod



D.      Jerusalem:

1.        Herod Kills James, brother of John  (12:1-2)

2.        Herod puts Peter in prison (12:3-5)

3.        Angel frees Peter. (12:6-11)

4.        He goes to Mary's house (mother of John Mark) (12:12)

5.        Rhoda amazed. Leaves him standing outside. (12:13-16)                       

6.        Peter says, tell James and then goes to another place. (12:17)

7.        King Herod puts the guards to death and goes down to Caesarea. (12:18-19) (city)

8.        Herod’s oration. (12:20-21)

9.        Herod dies for not giving glory to God. (12:22-23) 

  1.  Antioch:

Barnabas & Saul return with John Mark. (12:25 cf. Col. 4:10)


13: Cyprus



A.      Paul & Barnabas sent out by the church at Antioch. (13:1-3)

B.      Seleucia, on the coast. (John Mark goes along.) (13:4)

C.      Cyprus: Sailed to. (13:4)                                            

1.        Salamis: Spoke the word of God Synagogues. (13:5)

2.        Paphos

a.        Spoke to deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus. (13:7-12)

b.       Bar-Jesus (Elymas the sorcerer) blinded. (13:9-11)

  1. Perga in Pamphylia (coast of Turkey). 13: 13

John Mark turns back to Jerusalem.  13:13

  1. Antioch of Pisidia

1.        Paul preaches in Synagogue. 13:14-43

2.        Next Sabbath most of city comes to listen. 13:44

3.        Jews dispute with Apostles and drive them out. 13:45-50

4.        Apostles go to Iconium.  13:50-52.

14: Return



  1. Iconium:

1.        They speak in the synagogue.  Jews and Greeks believe. (14:1)

2.        Jews stir up Gentiles.  (14:2-5)

  1. Lystra: Crippled man healed. (14:8-10)

1.       Acclaimed as Gods. (14:11-18)

2.       Paul stoned. (14:19).

  1. Derbe: Preached the gospel  (14:20)
  2. Lystra, Iconium, Antioch Pisidia

1.        Confirming disciples. (14:21-22)

2.        Ordained Elders in every church. (14:23)

  1. Pamphylia, Perga, Attalia (14:24-25)
  2. Antioch Syria: Report to the church.  (14:26-28)


15: Circumcision




Antioch: Paul & Barnabas dispute with Jews that come from Jerusalem. (15:1-2)

Phoenicia and Samaria telling the conversion of the Gentiles (15:3)


1.        Peter, James, apostles, elders agree not to bind circumcision.and prepare a letter concerning the Gentiles (15:4-21)

2.        Judas & Silas sent to speak to the church at Antioch. (15:22-32)

3.        Silas remains at Antioch and the others return to Jerusalem (15:34)

4.        Paul and Barnabas continue preaching and teaching at Antioch (15:35)

5.        Paul & Barnabas plan to return to the churches they started but separate over taking John Mark again. (15:36-38)

6.        Barnabas & Mark go to Cyprus (home of Barnabas) (15:39)



  1. Paul & Silas go through Syria and Seleucia to Derbe & Lystra. (15:40-41)

16: Timothy

1.        Timothy circumcised and taken with them. (16:1-3)

2.        They encourage the churches in Phrygia & Galatia. (16:4-6)

  1. Mysia and Troas. Called in a vision over into Macedonia. (16:7-10)
  2. Sailed to island of Samothracia and then to Neapolis in Macedonia (16:11)
  3. Philippi: Lydia, a seller of purple baptized with her house. (16:13-15)

1.        Paul & Silas imprisoned for casting demon out of a girl. (16:16-24)

2.        Earthquake opens doors and looses their bands.(16:25-28)

3.        Jailor converted and baptized with his house. (16:29 -34)

4.        Paul refused to leave jail without an apology. (16:35-40)

17: Athens



  1. Through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica:

1.        They reason three Sabbaths in the Synagogue. (17:1-4)

2.        Jews cause an uproar and Jason is dragged before the judgment seat. (17:5-9)

  1. Berea: People search scriptures and receive the word readily (17:10 -12)

1.        Jews from Thessalonica cause trouble.  (17:13)

2.        Paul sent away.  Silas and Timothy remain. (17:14)

  1. Athens: (city)

1.        Paul sends for Silas and Timothy to hurry to him. (17:15)

2.        On Mars Hill, Paul preaches about “The Unknown God.”  (17:16-32)

3.        Paul departs to Corinth. (17:33-34)

18. Corinth



  1. Corinth: Paul lived with Priscilla & Aquila, Jewish tent-makers. (18:1-3)

1.        Preach in the Synagogue every Sabbath. (18:4)

2.        Silas & Timothy arrive from Macedonia. (18:5)

3.        Jews reject Paul so he goes to the house of Justus next to the Synagogue. (18:6-7)

4.        Crispus, the ruler of the Synagogue, baptized. (18:8)

5.        The Lord reassures him in a vision. (18:9-10)

6.        Preaches for a year and a half. (18:11)

7.        Paul seized by Jews. Gallio refuses to listen to them. (18:12-16)

8.        Sosthenes, the ruler of the Synagogue, beaten by the Greeks (18:17)

9.        After a while Paul, with Priscilla and Aquila sailed to Syria. (18:18)

  1. Cenchrea Paul shaved his head after completing a vow. (18:18)
  2. Ephesus.  Leaving Priscilla and Aquila, he sailed to Palestine. (18:19-20) (Library)
  3. Caesarea (18:22) (city)
  4. Jerusalem. (18:22 cf. 21)
  5. Antioch..  Return home. (18:22 )



  1. Galatia and Phrygia Strengthened the churches. (18:23)

Meanwhile, at Ephesus, Priscilla & Aquila convert Apollos. (18:24-26)

Apollos then sails to Corinth with backing of the church. (18:27-28)

19: Ephesus



  1. Ephesus. (Theater) (Library)

1.        Paul returns to Ephesus (19: 1)

2.        Paul re-baptizes 12 disciples of John. (19:2-7)

3.        Preaches in synagogue three months. (19:8)

4.        Jews reject so he speaks in the school of Tyrannus two years. (19:10)

5.        Special miracles done by Paul. (19:11-12)

6.        Sons of Sceva beaten by demoniac. (19:13-16)

7.        Magic books burned. (19:17-20)

8.        Paul lays plans to go through Macedonia and Achaia to Jerusalem and then to   Rome. (19:21)

9.        Timothy and Erastus sent ahead. (19:22 )

10.     Demetrius, the silversmith, incites a riot to protect goddess, Diana.  (19:23-41)

20: Troas & Miletus


  1. Macedonia and Greece and returns through Macedonia to Philippi. (20:1-3)
  2. Troas: Waits seven days. (20:6)

1.        Paul preaches to them on the first day of the week when they come together to break bread. (20:7

2.        Paul heals Eutychus who fell out the window. (20:8-12)

3.        In the morning Paul walks across the peninsula to Assos to meet ship (20:13)

  1. Assos, Mitylene, Chios, Samos, Trogyllium. (20:14-15)
  2. They bypass Ephesus to Miletus. (20:16) (ruins)

Paul calls the Elders from Ephesus and talks with them. (20:17-38) (Library) (Theater)

21: Jerusalem



  1. Coos, Rhodes, Patara to Tyre on coast of Palestine. (21:1-3)

Disciples, through Holy Spirit, warn of what awaits Paul at Jerusalem (21:4-6)

  1. Ptolemias. Greeted the brethren.(21:7)
  2. Caesarea: Visited Philip, the evangelist and his four daughters (21:8-9) (city)

Agabus comes and prophesies bonds for Paul. (21:10-14)



  1. Jerusalem: Stays with Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple (21:15-16)

1.        Paul visits James and the elders. (21:17-19)

2.        Paul takes four men with vows to be purified in the temple (21:20-26)

3.        Paul mobbed in the temple.  (21:27-30)

4.        Rescued by soldiers. (21:31-34)

5.        Paul permitted to speak from stairs of the tower of Antonia (21:35-40)

22: Mob



6.        Paul recounts conversion and being sent to the Gentiles. (22:1-21)

7.        Jews shout for his death. (22:22-23)

8.        Captain withdraws him. (22:24)

9.        Paul claims protection from scourging as a Roman citizen.(22:25-29)

10.     Next day Paul brought before the Jewish Council. (22:30)

23: Council




11.     Paul begins to speak and is slapped.  (23:1-2)

12.     Calls High Priest a “whitened wall.” (23:3-5)

13.     Paul declares as a Pharisee that he is upholding the resurrection. (23:6)

14.     Pharisees and Sadducees divided (23:7-9)

15.     Captain removes Paul to the castle (23:10)

16.     An angel assures Paul that he will preach the gospel in Rome. (23:11)

17.     Paul’s nephew reveals plot of over 40 men to kill him. (23:12 -21)

18.     Captain prepares letter to send with Paul to Caesarea. (23:22-30) (city)

  1. Paul sent by night to Antipatris with 70 horsemen and 200 spearmen. (23:31-32)
  2. Caesarea.  He is taken to Felix, the governor, and held. (23:33-35) (city)

24: Felix



1.        Jews and High Priest have Tertullus accuse Paul before Felix (24:1-9)

2.        Paul’s defense (24:10-21)

3.        Felix defers the matter. (24:22-23)

4.        Felix and wife, Drusilla, hear Paul. (24:24)

5.        Response, “Some more convenient season” (24:25)

6.        Felix talks with Paul often for two years, hoping to be bribed. (24:26)

7.        Porcius Festus replaces Felix.  Paul is left bound. (24:27)

25: Festus



8.        Festus goes from Caesarea to Jerusalem. (25:1) (city)

9.        Jews plot to get Paul returned to Jerusalem to kill him. (25:2-3)

10.     Festus tells them he will hear it in Caesarea. (25:4-5)

11.     Festus goes to Caesarea and the Jews accuse Paul befor him (25:6-7) (city)

12.     Festus tries to appease the Jews by sending Paul to Jerusalem. (25:9)

13.     To avoid this, Paul appeals to Caesar,. (25:10 -11)

14.     Festus grants his appeal. (25:12)

15.     King Agrippa and his wife, Bernice, come to Caesarea. (25:13 ) (city)

16.     Felix speaks to Agrippa about Paul. (25:14 -21)

17.     Paul brought for hearing before Agrippa (25:22-27)

26: Agrippa


18.     Paul’s defense of his preaching the resurrection of Christ. (26:1-27)

19.     Agrippa: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (26:28 )

20.     Judgment: If he had not appealed to Caesar he would have been freed. (26:29-32)

27: Shipwreck



  1. Voyage.  Paul sent as a prisoner on journey to Rome. (27:1)

1.       Sidon. Cyprus. Myra. Cnidus, Crete, Salmone

2.        Fair Havens, Lasea, Crete (2-13)

3.        Storm batters the ship. (27:14 -20)

4.        Paul reassures they will be saved (27:21-26)

5.        Sailors try to escape by themselves (27:27 -32)

6.        Paul has them eat to gain strength for the landing (27:33 -38)

7.        The ship breaks up but they escape to land (27:39-44)

28: Rome

  1. Melita Island.  Received with kindness by people. (28:1-2)

1.        They are amazed that Paul does not become ill from viper bite. (28:3-6)

2.        Paul heals the father of Publius, the Chief Man, and others. (28:7-9)

3.        After three months they take a ship to Syracuse. (28:10-12)

4.        After three days they sail to Rhegium and the next to Puteoli. (28:14)

  1. Rome.  Met by brethren (28:14-15) (Coloseum)

1.        Paul permitted to dwell by himself under guard. (28:16)

2.        Paul calls and speaks with the Jews. (28:17 -29)

3.        Dwells in a hired house for two years and preaches. (28:30-31)